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What’s APRIL’s Next Move Towards Sustainability?

Jayanty Nada Shofa
November 18, 2020 | 4:00 am
Royal Golden Eagle director Anderson Tanoto at the virtual APRIL 2030 launch press conference on Oct. 17, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL)
Royal Golden Eagle director Anderson Tanoto at the virtual APRIL 2030 launch press conference on Oct. 17, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL)

Jakarta. Asia Pacific Resources International Limited, or APRIL, never seems to run out of ideas for executing sustainable development goals (SDGs). The pulp and paper producer has recently launched APRIL 2030, a set of commitments and concrete actions to bolster SDGs' achievement in the next decade.

Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), the parent group to APRIL, sees sustainability as inseparable from their core business operations.

“APRIL 2030 shows how business and sustainability can go hand-in-hand. We have to align ourselves with the global commitment. SDGs give a tailwind to what we are trying to achieve,” RGE’s director Anderson Tanoto told reporters in an online press conference on Tuesday.

The APRIL 2030 program comprises four pillars. The first pillar is a climate-positive environment, which includes net-zero emissions from land-use through science-based initiatives. 

"We have signed up science-based target initiatives to advance net-zero carbon emission. We are the first forestry company in Indonesia to sign this initiative," Anderson said.

The second pillar is a thriving landscape, where APRIL doubles down on investments and funding for wildlife and environment conservation. 

Followed by the inclusive progress pillar, where APRIL ensures inclusivity for the local community. This includes annihilating extreme poverty, stunting, as well as boosting quality education. Finally, the sustainable growth pillar in which APRIL continues to expand its business through circular strategies and responsible production.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic does not deter APRIL from boosting its sustainability efforts.

"In fact, Covid-19 presents an opportunity for the private sector to take leadership for sustainability. This narrative is not only limited to Indonesia but across Southeast Asia. I am sure Indonesian companies can rise to the challenge and sustainability in the next target," Anderson said.

1-for-1 Commitment

What’s APRIL’s Next Move Towards Sustainability?
(Left to right) RAPP director Sihol Aritonang, RGE director Anderson Tanoto, and APRIL corporate affairs director Agung Laksmana at the virtual APRIL 2030 launch press conference on Oct. 17, 2020. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL)

In 2015, APRIL pledged to conserve one hectare of forest for every hectare of plantation.

“The fulfillment of this 1-for-1 commitment is currently at 82 percent. Over the next few years, we will focus on achieving that 1-for-1 commitment. As of now, we have conserved 360,000 hectares out of the 450,000 hectares of concession lands,” Sihol Aritonang, director of Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), one of APRIL’s business units, said.

According to Sihol, conservation efforts require significant funding. These funds do not only go towards planting trees but also managing risks such as fire and poaching. To this end, APRIL would set aside some funds for conservation for every ton of wood used in the production.

“APRIL’s production-protection model is also capable of supporting conversation investment. Our plan revolves around self-funding from production activities to support [environment] protection,” Sihol said.

Despite the self-funding plan, APRIL still opens its doors for future collaborations with local and international partners to safeguard the environment.

“Over the next decade, we also would like to invite other collaborators, not just in the Kampar Peninsula but perhaps other areas as well,” Anderson said.

Immediate Actions

In an immediate move to deliver and take action, APRIL is in advanced discussion on a cooperation with Wildlife Conservation Society on wildlife protection and conservation in Indonesia, including of endangered species, in support of the Indonesian Government’s biodiversity goals. This is in addition to the ongoing collaboration with long-time partner Fauna & Flora International on the Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) initiative. 

APRIL also extends the investment on conservation and restoration through an average annual funding of $10 million to be invested in nature that is guaranteed by APRIL’s production-protection approach.

A new tropical peatland science hub has been established at the RER Eco-Research Camp on Riau’s Kampar Peninsula that will serve as a hub for national and international scientists and academics and for stakeholders who wish to experience ecosystem restoration work on the ground. APRIL has also signed up with the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and will work to set a science-based emission reduction target aligned with the SBTi’s target-setting criteria. 

To immediately kick off the company’s shift to renewable energy sources, as part of the commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, APRIL will be installing 20MW solar panels at its operational sites starting in 2021. When completed in 2025, this will be one of the largest, private sector, solar panel installations in Indonesia. 

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